I have just returned from a weekend conference on pneumococcal disease and am reminded yet again on how the disease can be very severe to young children. If you haven't already done so, please have your kids vaccinated against pneumococcal disease in the first year of life. The MOH recommendations are for three doses of pneumoccocal vaccine to be administered at 3 months, 5 months and 1 year old.
For those kids who have been vaccinated prior to 2010 and are between 2 and 5 years of age, you might want to get a booster dose of the latest pneumoccocal vaccine which covers and extra 6 different strains of the pneumococcal bacteria. The original pneumococcal vaccine covered 7 strains but the latest one covers 13 strains. So with an extra booster, you will be able to extend the vaccine coverage for your kids.
Lately there has been news about some kids who have still fallen ill even though they had been vaccinated with the pneumococcal vaccine. You can read the story here. This is because there are many strains of the bacteria and the original vaccine did not cover all of them. One strain of particular importance is the strain 19A which has been causing pnuemoccocal disease worldwide. The good news is that the latest pneumococcal vaccine will confer immunity to strain 19A.
If your child has already completed the pneumococcal vaccine and are between 2 to 5 years of age, do check with the doctor if he/she has been covered with the latest pneumococcal vaccine. One booster dose is all that is required to give them wider protection.
One dose of the Prevenar 13 vaccine costs $140 nett at our clinic and includes GST and injection fees. Our 3 dose package is $405 nett. These rates are for cash and Baby Bonus. Medisave can also be used but admin charges will apply.